Some Hand-Holding for Inventors before Investing in Patent Legal Services
A hallmark day: my first guest post published to IPWatchDog about the need to understand what the patent examiners are to view as binding authority in case law. I cannot imagine my career and practice without the wisdom of IPWatchDog strategy articles. I say it again and again, the blog is a North Star to the benefit of my clients.
Especially after learning about the level of examiner review provisional applications typically get at the USPTO, I'd advise some classes of clients to try out the Patent+Invent system on IPwatchdog.com, before investing in a patent attorney to write the provisional patent application. It holds the inventors hand and helps her or him use a template to come up with a draft of a provisional. I find my software engineer clients tend to come up with pretty good drafts; after all, to a limited extent the way we describe inventions is algorithmic and recalls object oriented programming. Sometimes, if clients follow the Patent + Invent system and produce reasonable work, I don't have to edit it so much; thus I pass on my saving in time as a reduced fee to the client.
A forthcoming article is geared towards startups along the theme of "how to do the best you can, as fast as you can, for as cheaply as you can*" Inventors are often motivated to learn a lot about the patent system, and are smart enough to grasp some of the nuances. The USPTO has several resources for independent inventors. That will be discussed soon. Stay tuned.
*know that you can't have the perfect mix of good, quick, and cheap...but those of us who've run a business know that sometimes, you've gotta run with the best you can get.